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The relationship between Aeroplan, the 3rd party loyalty program of Air Canada, and Air Canada is coming to an end. Luckily, there is plenty of time to adapt to the change since the relationship will be terminated on June 30, 2020. Air Canada has announced that they will not be renewing their contract with Aeroplan’s parent company Aimia. In the announcement, Air Canada has confirmed that they will be implementing their own frequent flyer program, which should give them more flexibility and options than they currently have with their partnership with Aeroplan.

Air Canada A319
photo credit: caribb Polar Blue Airbus A319 via photopin (license)

While Air Canada has not announced any details of their new program, they did explicitly state in their announcement that they are still committed to working with Aeroplan through the end of their contract. With nearly three years of lead time, there should be plenty of time for travelers with Aeroplan Miles in their accounts to maximize their value, explore some of the best Aeroplan Sweet spots or even how you can book Aeroplan fares while avoiding dreaded fuel surcharges.

Needless to say, Aeroplan is not overly impressed with the termination of its partnership with Air Canada. When the company reported its first-quarter profits for 2017, Aimia announced that “Aimia strongly believes that a renewal of the company's long-term partnership would be the best and least disruptive option for both companies' customers, in particular, Air Canada's frequent flyers. While Aimia remains open to further discussions with Air Canada, the company's strategic planning had already contemplated other post-2020 alternatives in parallel with the goal of ensuring that Aeroplan members retain access to a strong redemption offering around air rewards in the future. Given the state of current discussions, we will continue to pursue these alternatives actively.”

Overall

In the long run, this should be good news for Air Canada frequent flyers, with more opportunities for redemptions as Air Canada expands its strategic partnerships. On the other hand, there might be some inconvenient changes, such as transfer partnerships, since currently, Aeroplan is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Rewards. Whether this carries on with the new Air Canada program or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, you have just over three years until June 30, 2020, to enjoy and maximize your benefits from the Aeroplan program.

Source: The Points Guy

Air Canada to Split Up With Aeroplan and Operate Own Program
4.9 (98.46%) 13 votes
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Comments

  • The most important question is yet to be answered, and it’s still years away. We shall say what happens to MR transfer.

  • Jacqueline parsons says:

    Sorry to see the split however we do have a few years grace time to use awards.

  • Just got to hope the new program is as good or better.

  • Adam Parsons says:

    Foe me personally this is good news. If more availability opens up on air Canada from this then that makes my life a lot easier, thanks!

  • I wonder will this mean the end of Aeroplan in 2020, or will Aimia look to find other airline partners. I think it is quite a risky strategy to set up a completely new scheme, as in the meantime customers might have got used to crediting their flights to other Star Alliance schemes..

  • Ricardo Machado says:

    Excellent news. Finally loyalty programs are becoming really loyalty programs again. More benefits for the real frequent flyers.
    Congratulations Air Canada!

  • Can’t wait to see if there will be any exploit opportunities with the changes

  • Interesting to see how things will develop.

  • Binita Patel says:

    Not sure if this will be beneficial to customers – time will tell!

    • I have to agree. Quite often these days changes will not be for the better, however, as you say time will tell. Hopefully this might be one of the rare cases where it is for the better.

  • I’m not a big Aero plan user, but have a friends that keeps fly to Canada twice a year to visit their daughter and they asked me about the fate of miles they collected after 2020 – is it better to switch to another airline loyalty program now?

  • I can’t see this as being better for reward seat availability since there will be two programs competing for likely the same inventory. It may be easier to get miles through the various start up promotions but in terms of availability, I think it will be a miss if they are both drawing from the same inventories unless the new plan offers any available seat.

  • Interesting. Aeroplan was a pretty convenient way for US-based flyers to visit Canadian destinations through the AmEx and SPG transfer options. Hopefully the new program will have equally accessible transfer options.

  • Aimia must be concerned, although you’d have to think that Westjet might have some interest in suddenly getting 5 million loyalty program members to fly with them instead of Air Canada…

  • Hopefully it will be a positive change for us.

  • I have no Aeroplan miles so this will have no effect on me. I am curious what the Air Canada frequent flyer program will look like and will it be revenue based.

  • Air Canada has a rare opportunity to build a loyalty program from scratch. Let’s see how they decide to play this…

  • Crazy. It’s never been a program I focused on, so no big loss for me, but I hope this doesn’t start a trend.

  • Finally… There have been talks about it for years. Would be interesting to see the new program!

  • Jon Karol says:

    Need to see where they align themselves, and if they will still be partners with SPG and MR points. Sounds like it has a real potential to be more beneficial down the road for flyers overall.

  • Air Flyer says:

    Two different award programs to use now 🙂

  • Maryjane says:

    i hope the new program will have fewer fees than Aeroplan!

    Since they are not going to allow the points to be transferred from Aeroplan to the new program, and Aeroplan will end in three years, I predict award seats will be very difficult to find in the near future as people use up their hoarded points.

  • Def a good thing for real loyalty customers. Transfers could be tricky after 2020 depending on network setup. I wonder what will happen to Aeroplan going forward.

  • The_Bouncer says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens to all the points stuck in Aeroplan in 2020. I can see a lot of people being very unhappy.

  • its too early yet . Lets see WHAT Aeroplan comes up with REGARDING NEW PARTNERS. It could be a WIN WIN situation for frequent flyers .

  • I think this is a good move.
    If they make their programme a less more attractive they will increase their customers.

    • Way too early to tell.
      Very few of these changes are for the customer’s benefit.
      For now, paint me in the skeptical camp.

  • This could be an opportunity for Air Canada to improve it’s program if it chooses to do so.

  • Hopefully this will jog Aeroplan to up their game in the next three years to the benefit of travelers so they can show Air Canada they have become a very professional travel provider, website and quick answering their 800 number.

  • I wonder about transferability between this new currency and citi ty, chase ur etc

  • Air Canada apparently don’t even have access to the database of Aeroplan members. Could be a rough way to start a program and will require some interesting bonus opportunities to attract sign-ups!!

  • I’m just happy to see such a nice notice literally years out. Obviously splitting up with a program is more significant than “run of the mill” changes, but it’s nice to know about any change well in advance, as opposed to say just changing something without telling us.

  • So whats left for aeroplan after 2020?

  • Thanks God, I never trusted Air Canada and always creditd my points to United! This constant devaluations are killing all the joy of being loyal

  • We will have to wait to see if this is a good thing or not.

  • Three years isn’t bad.
    Within those 3 years, should we even be surprised if Air Canada itself gets acquired and becomes part of the acquirer’s loyalty program?

  • So what is supposed to happen to my aeroplan points? I can’t use them on Air Canada anymore?

    • At this point we do not know — any changes are still several years away.

    • From what I’ve read, you can continue to use Aeroplan points the exact same way as before, for the next 3 years. After that, you can still redeem them for Air Canada flights (but not other Star Alliance partners) at an unknown cost.

  • Rob Arias says:

    Hopefully the split will make a very strong rewards program for Air Canada

  • Both aeroplan and aircanada are very bad..but now I need to burn all these aeroplan points before they become useless in 2020.

  • It will be interesting to see how things will develop…I would redeem my points ASAP, in any case.

  • Nice to have such an advanced warning

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